India: How To Register Your Brand With The Amazon Brand Registry

Last Updated: 13 June 2018
Article by Selvam And Selvam

Amazon Brand Registry (ABR) is medium through which sellers (who can also be businessmen, manufacturers or retailers) who are selling their products on Amazon get an opportunity to protect their trademarks from getting infringed by any third party or a potential competitor. The ABR allows sellers to create details on the product page as well as register themselves as the brand owner. The ABR also allows them to create a business brand to manage and sell products under that trade name on Amazon.

The ABR in a way helps buyers to purchase quality goods as it removes forged goods from the Amazon website. Brands/sellers can register their mark with Amazon so if anything ever is flagged as a counterfeit or forged object, Amazon can investigate the listing by removing the product from their website and also can blacklist the seller permanently. This is a very strategic and shrewd move by Amazon, there have been instances of customers complaining of counterfeit items on their website, which we hope would decline in future as the customers would get a clarity of the genuineness of products that are available on the website. ABR provides a Report Intellectual Property Right Infringement form through which any person (without having an ABR user account) can report an alleged intellectual property infringement such as copyright, trademark, and patent and the ABR will look into the matter and take appropriate actions.

Why Amazon Brand Registry?

The ABR procedure is completely free and post the update on 30th April 2017, Amazon has made some substantial improvements to its database. The following are some of the key takeaways from the update:

  1. Better brand control to deal with hijackers and bogus products
  2. New tools to search for infringing products
  3. Future improvements to the program for sellers

Overall, Amazon now offers more control over the brand by making it much easier to find and report companies or sellers who are infringing the mark of genuine brand.

How to register?

According to the Amazon website the following information is required by the seller/owner of the mark (hereinafter referred to as an applicant) to enroll:

  1. A brand name that has a live/active registered trademark.
  2. Government Registered Principal Trademark Registration or Serial Number (For Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, the trademark type must be listed as a WORD mark)

[For USPTO marks, the Mark Drawing Type must be equal to "4 – STANDARD CHARACTER MARK" or "1 – TYPESET WORD(S)/LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)"]

  1. Images of the brand's logo.
  2. Images of products and packaging that carry the trademarked brand name. If the product is not branded, the packaging must be branded.
  3. A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which the brand should be listed.
  4. A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which the brand should be listed.
  5. A list of countries where the brand's products are manufactured and distributed.

If the applicant has already enrolled a brand in the ABR prior to 30th April, 2017 and the brand meets the above-listed eligibility requirements, the applicant needs to re-enrol their brand in the new ABR. If the brand does not meet the current/above eligibility requirements then there is no requirement for this enrolment.

What types of brands can be registered?

The brands must have a valid and existing registered trademark to be eligible to join the ABR. The trademark must be a "standard character mark" and the trademark must match the brand name printed on products or in the packaging.

The Amazon website clearly states that only a "word marks" which is issued by government patent and trademark offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the European Union can be registered under the ABR. Since, Amazon will only accept "word marks" on the chief Register if an applicant applies for a logo and gets accepted on the preliminary stages the applicant might be re-called to re-file, or, would have to choose a new trademark that is eligible of protection under ABR. This is just one of many contemplations while filing an ABR application.

A logo and a word mark

A logo is nothing but a graphic or pictorial representation used by business houses or manufacturers or individuals to help buyers/consumers remember the brand more easily. A logo can be as simple as the company name itself, as elaborate as a graphic and everything in between. The logos are a medium for an effective form of mass communication, as several logos, such as Apple's apple () – is one of the best examples of a picture-based logo (or a pictorial mark) – which are recognized worldwide at just a glance. A logo is an easily identifiable design element, often including a name, symbol, specified colors or the trademark itself. A logo is a quick, visual representation of a brand's message and position. A logo should be well-designed to induce some memory from the viewer depending upon their relationship with the product.

A work mark is an identification of the product/service or company by use of a "word" or "words". The industrialists who wish to register a word as their brand name often use unique words to express their brands so that the customers can distinguish as well as relate to the brand at the same time. If the same word is already registered or in use but in the different sector, for e.g. word "toy" is registered trademarked underclass of cosmetics and if same is to be registered under the class of metals, then it will still be approved (this also comes under the discretion of the Registrar), provided that it is not creating any confusion among the customer about the product's origin.

Conclusion

The purpose of ABR is to create a cohesive brand. Its procedure is to help sellers protect their mark and getting a distinct brand image can also boost their sales. Having the sellers keeping everyone consistent can also create a uniform appearance and brand behavior; which can lead itself to a more defined consumer base and loyal following. The ABR provides manufacturers with powerful tools for diversified expansion and managing the seller's brand identity more effectively in the Amazon marketplace. However, one needs to ensure that signing-in in this program aligns with the ability to provide consistent and precise product data both at the beginning of the listing and over the time, across all the products by the applicant.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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